A key concept, the CDC states, "strengthening the public health workforce by enhancing the front line public health capacity in state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments to intensify the coordinated response to COVID-19 is critical."
As Return To The Workplace Safety Plan evolves, you should consider Covid-19 testing for your employees. While nasal swab testing is readily available for front-line workers, those who are at the highest risk and also those who are exhibiting symptoms, we are seeing a growing demand for Covid-19 Rapid Response tests (10 minutes for results). Antibody testing is for everyone. It builds confidence for individuals and establishes that leadership is looking out for both the Agency and the overall health of their employees.
Antibody tests (blood tests) will determine if a person has had the virus in the past. The viral test (nasal swab) only determines if the person currently has the virus. Currently science does not know if the presence of anti-bodies provides immunity or not. Science may have some solid proof soon. Initial testing shows that it will. However, more testing is required. If it does indeed show that antibodies provide immunity, then by testing now you will know which employees have immunity or at least a lesser chance of re-infection.
What is known is that anti-bodies do help the body fight the infections that are specific to the virus that causes Covid-19. Antibodies can last for a long time in the body, which makes them ideal for identifying whether someone had once contracted the virus and if their body fought it off successfully – even if it was weeks ago.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told the Doctor Mike YouTube show that they’ll have “some degree of durable immunity”, possibly in a few years.
The value of everyone knowing that one another has been tested and that they are not actively sick, or that they can be designated as having antibodies, is very reassuring.
It may also allow managers to know which employees may have immunities and can work in closer quarters, when it is necessary. This ensures that they are creating the best practices for others to follow.
Additional information on Public Services and Return To Work Safely can be found on the CDC website:
First Responders, Law Enforcement and Public Services | Plan, Prepare and Respond
Businesses and Workplaces | Plan, Prepare and Respond
Empty offices now - workers returning soon. Be prepared.